You may have heard about the “good guy” with a concealed carrying permit who saw a shoplifter run out from a Home Depot and decided to be a hero, shooting into the parking lot after the miscreants.
As you can expect, people in the area screamed and ran for cover as she took on this self-appointed role. Too bad she didn’t hit the thieves, because everyone knows the penalty for shoplifting is death.
No police officer or security guard would have done that. They’re trained and understand that deadly force can only be used in self-defense or when others are in danger. Unarmed thieves stealing a toaster pose no threat to anyone.
And this is the biggest problem with guns these days: almost anyone can get one, whether you know how to use one or not. And then too many of the people with guns imagine themselves as some movie hero, buying into the “good guy with a gun” theory, thinking that somehow they’re going to save the day and do a better job than trained professionals.
If you join the military or a police force, they do not just say “Welcome aboard! Here’s your deadly weapon.” You go through training, which is more than just target practice. You learn how and when to use it; you learn about safety; you learn to treat the thing like the dangerous instrument it is. And then they watch you and will take your weapon away if you do stupid things like shooting at an unarmed shoplifter.*
The woman who did the shooting may still be charged and should be, since she endangered everyone there. Hopefully, even gun owners will agree that this was wrong and will not rally to her support.
Not holding my breath, though.
* Well, theoretically, anyway.